Review: Salt Tasting Room

by gigi on October 30, 2007

Mabel, Christina, Sashi, and I went to the Salt Tasting Room one day after work to celebrate Christina’s birthday. It is a funky new “restaurant” right in Blood Alley in Gastown. There is no real address per se, but the map provided on their website is pretty helpful. The restaurant entrance is indicated by a banner with an upside down salt shaker.

salt tasting room

The reason I put “restaurant” in quotes is because there is no real kitchen at Salt. Most of the items are pre-prepared items like cured meats and sausages, cheeses, and breads. I’m not sure if this would really work for dinner, but since we were there for a pre-dinner get-together, it worked out well for us. :)

First, we decided on the drinks. Salt has an extensive wine and drink menu and their servers were very helpful in pointing out to us what would go well with our dishes. Christina and I both chose a rose wine and Sashi selected a zinfandel.

salt tasting room

Mabel selected a fizzy passion fruit drink, which she said was quite good.

salt tasting room

The most popular item at Salt is their tasting plates.  For $15, you can choose three items from their ever-changing selection of cheeses and meats.  It is accompanied by fresh bread and three spreads.  You can choose the spreads yourself but we asked our server to pick something that would match our cheeses and meats.  Because there were four of us, we opted for two platters.

The cheese platter came with Camembert, Dubliner cheddar, and buffalo mozzarella.  The Camembert was served with sliced Bartlett pears.  The crunch and sweetness of the pears contrasted nicely with the creamy cheese.

salt tasting room

The Dubliner cheddar came with a small bunch of Nimrod grapes.  The cheddar was aged and stronger than the cheddar I usually get from the supermarket but was very good.  The Nimrod grapes were like wine grapes and were very sweet and juicy.

salt tasting room

The buffalo mozzarella was paired with Spanish fig date slices.  I am not a big fan of dates normally, but somewhat chewy date slices went very well with the creamy mozzarella.  My only complaint was that I wished there was more mozzarella in the platter.  :)

salt tasting room

For our meat platter, we chose salami with coppa, hot capicollo, and smoked beef.  Our server told us that capicollo is Italian smoked pork shoulder and neck.  That sounded pretty tasty so we decided to give it a try.  :)  It was paried with grainy Dijon mustard.  This was one of my favourite items that we chose.  It wasn’t as spicy as I thought it would be, but the tangy mustard paired really well with the tender pork slices.

salt tasting room

The salami came with cornichons, which are basically mini pickles.  The cornichons were slightly sweet, which was an interesting combination with the salty salami slices.

salt tasting room

The smoked beef was another one of my favourites.  The creamy balsamic reduction that it came with really brought out the smoky flavour.  The slices were also thin enough that the beef was not too tough to chew.

salt tasting room

Salt Tasting Room is definitely one of those places to try with one or two friends.  The space is quite small so it is not too accomodating for big groups.  Going in small groups also makes it easier to share the food as there are less people you have to fight with to get a taste.  :)  I would definitely recommend this for a pre-dinner snack or late night get-together.

45 Blood Alley, Vancouver
Tel: 604-633-1912

Food: [rating:4]
Service: [rating:3.5]
Price: $$

Salt Tasting Room on Urbanspoon

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